While it may have been an unfriendly economic climate over the past few years, small business owners are hopeful heading into 2011. Sixty percent of small business owners polled said they expect their business to swell over the next 12 months, signaling not only good spirits, but a 6-percent increase over December 2008. That’s according to a recent Intuit, Inc poll of 1,000 small business owners from across the United States. And what do SMB owners plan to do with the increased cash flow their businesses attract?
According to the survey:
56 percent will focus on retaining and growing current customers
41 percent will look to expand marketing and attract new customers
30 percent will look to reduce costs and save money
It’s not surprising to see that many small business owners will be looking to use the surge of cash to try and attract new customers. One of the largest pain points for small business owners is often trying to keep a steady flow of customers. In fact, Intuit’s survey found that 54 percent of SMB owners experienced a declining customer base over the past year, with another 32 percent naming delayed payments as their sore spot.
Just because they’re having a hard time finding customers, though, doesn’t mean SMBs are necessarily being proactive about seeking them out. The survey gave some startling numbers about small business owners’ usage of social media–or should I say, their lack of usage.
While 71 percent of small business agreed that social media is an effective way to keep customers engaged, they don’t seem to actually be using it.